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Helen Sheehan Book Prize



Elephant Rock launched our YA imprint in 2014. We acquire YA manuscripts through our Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize. So who was Helen Sheehan and how come I can’t find her online? Helen Sheehan was a modest woman. She attended Normal school in Tiverton, Rhode Island in the 1920s, and taught elementary school for many years, eventually becoming a principal. She was also our publisher’s revered great aunt Hiya. The prize honors her love of education and young people.

We award the book prize every other year to the strongest full-length YA novel received. We designed that snazzy seal ourselves. A panel of three judges reads and reviews the top manuscripts, and selects the winner. The contest winner receives $1,000 and publication with Elephant Rock Books. Then our internal team edits and designs a lovely piece of literary art. Thanks to thousands of readers, we’ve had great success. We do not read YA manuscripts outside of our contest.

Past winners:
2014: The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
2016: The Art of Holding on and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz

Judge Hall of Fame:
Emil Ostrovski, Louise Brueggmann, Becky Quiroga Curtis, Kelly Jensen, Anne Rouyer and Meghan Dietsche Goel.

The 2018 Sheehan YA Prize Submission Period is Closed


Judges: Jennie Kendrick, Forever Young Adult; Suzy Takac, Bookceller Bookstore; Mark E. Pumphrey, Acting Director of the El Paso Public Library System

Thank you to all the writers who entered our 2018 contest. We received over 100 submissions. Submission for 2020 contest open June 2019. Start writing.